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Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2019

     
10:07 am on Aug 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 12 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4951811.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 10:33 am on Aug 1, 2019 (utc -5)


Can someone please write in few words, what we have learned from this latest update and what are the thigns that are now important?


1. Don't rely on Google for your income and 2. "They moved your cheese". What's important? quality time with friends and family.
2:15 am on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The Yellow Pages were a directory organized by humans and was at least presentable


I worked for the Yellow Pages for a long time. Even today, if you have a business name that starts with he letter A, and you want a line listing or box ad that runs in the alphabetical section (display ads are not alphabetized) you need to prove that you truly operate as AAA plumbing or Aaron's Plumbing. Most of the time, we'd ask for a pic of one of their trucks with the business name on it. If they didn't have anything we'd tell them to come back when they did.

Anyway, traffic was down 10% after the June update and we've picked it all back up in July and August is up 7% (daily average). So nothing to complain about.
9:43 am on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else in UK seeing yesterday and today being very dead for G Organic. I know yesterday was A level results day but can it have had that much of an effect? Is anything else going on in the UK that I should have thought about? Cricket perhaps :-)
10:18 am on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mark_A, can confirm that for germany. Zombies are back, traffic is still at high level.

As were are most in B2C business it could have something to do with economy slowing down.
What privat consumers concern, google did a good job to scare them away right in the arms of amazon.

I was reading what D Sullivan posted about google core updates. If it wasnīt that sad i would had laughed.
The analogy with the movies means for google index, that outdated designs from 2005 are state of the art for now? This is what i can see in google serps right now. Old fashioned outdated sites, I wonder that google didnīt suggest to put GIFs back on.
10:26 am on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else in UK seeing yesterday and today being very dead for G Organic.


It's unbelievably dead across all our sites today, I actually had to check whether our server had been down, it hadn't, even email is at very low levels.

So, it is the middle of August, holiday changeovers etc, still those lucky ones with 3-4 week breaks plus my widget industry is usually much quieter during August and for the past nearly 40 years this has been the month whereby we caught-up because historically it is quiet, however this year the past couple of weeks we've been at normal business levels ... Maybe I/we can have a few days recuperation?

Locally all tourist-related businesses I know are all reporting full hotels and camp sites etc, even the expensive restaurants are doing well. There's no interest in the cricket here but we do have the British Superbike weekend which is a very big event however the weather forecast for today's practising is dreadful.
11:15 am on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps it is just that, a peak UK holiday period.

I didn't realise the Superbikes were on, will have to check out if I can see it on TV! :-)
12:06 pm on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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yesterday and today I also have had very low levels of traffic, hardly any conversions and very few emails - Im not UK based though and although I get quite a few from the UK my customers base is very much split between US, Europe,UK, Aus/Asia and S America so if something did happen / is happening I would suspect it is not UK specific.
3:20 pm on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just seen that there are now extended info attributes for hotels in google MyBusiness that pretty much cover most things that you find on the major bookings sites . There is a SEroundtable article about it here [seroundtable.com ]

This seems like that google has plans to try to integrate hotel booking into the serps more aggressively. They already have been moving that way offering booking button and details but I would guess they will start to try to take more of the market from sites like booking.com.

I can see that (unless stopped) google is going to move into the as many profitable niches as possible by abusing its power. I would guess that food delivery will be one of the areas they will hijack soon by offering delivery options in the serps and therefore taking a big chunk of revenue from the likes of deliveroo, ubereats and many others.
8:29 pm on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@glakes: Yes, a name like AAAA Friendly Plumbers is a pretty good sign that a business has been around a while. :-)
12:37 am on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Since the 27th I'm seeing a big uptick in clicks and CTR in google search console, lower ranking in SEMrush in the last week, and a small uptick in visitors to the site. The number of actual inquiries is pathetically low after google worked it's magic in june. Whatever Google is doing they've made damned sure that they siphoned away all the serious customers from organic.

I opened a physical location in January and revenue from that is already outpacing online sales, and that's only because the referrals from Google have just disappeared. Sixteen years of online only sales and it pretty much halved (or less) with whatever changes they made in early June.
4:14 am on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I see lots of fluctuation in ranking of my website. There is also huge fluctuation in the indexed pages. Sometimes, it shows 850 pages indexed, sometimes it shows 2000 page indexed..... I don't know how to correct it.
7:35 am on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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outdated designs from 2005 are state of the art for now? This is what i can see in google serps right now. Old fashioned outdated sites,

May be Google rewards sites which are not trying to game the SERP by optimizing everything ...
8:37 am on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Ive been experiencing battling against huge companies like reddit, and they have 10 of the stupidest auto blog websites screwing up my niche for a year and absolutely nothing happens. Like qebsites i can make tonight so stupid. Reported so many times i think they penalized me. The rankings somwtimes is redit, 3 other reddit sites linking to reddit and then the rest. These sites dont even have content just a link to read the reddit link. Its pathetic lately and seems like a huge push to hurt webmasters. Is reddit american? Is google still american? I havent thought so in some time. All that will be left soon is major brands or nobody. They get hundreds of thousands of clicks per month right? Why is stupid articles outranking regular webmasters for 100 clicks a day searches?

[edited by: Steven29 at 8:50 am (utc) on Aug 17, 2019]

8:49 am on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, that is the reason to be a huge company vs small business.
12:45 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Today I don't know what happened. But all the traffic is gone including the direct and referral ones. Are you guys facing this too?
1:06 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Today I don't know what happened. But all the traffic is gone including the direct and referral ones. Are you guys facing this too?

It's back to school time in the USA, so traffic is all over the map for me. Normally after Labor Day (September 2 this year), all the kids are back in school and traffic patterns become more consistent again.
2:26 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Umm.. How does having kids in school improve traffic?
2:49 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Umm.. How does having kids in school improve traffic?

What do you think that kids are doing during classrooms? They have to spend time with their smartphone until the bell rings ...
2:58 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Umm.. How does having kids in school improve traffic?


Yes, my traffic drops every year when school is out and increases again as soon as school is in...every year for 17 years
3:05 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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ive lost lots of traffic and close to zero conversions (and the conversions I get are just very low value ) since Thursday. After August ticking along reasonably it is like it has just been switched off. This is a regular occurrence each month now were there is a throttling of traffic and im in no doubt it is google that is responsible.

There are some that will try to explain these things by the weather, public holidays in a single country or school terms, which for some niches it might have an effect but for most of us it does not. We have global traffic patterns, not just from a single country, not just from certain demographics like children or parents, vampires or mogwis that would be effected by such things.
3:10 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, my traffic drops every year when school is out and increases again as soon as school is in...every year for 17 years

Part of parents are taking vacations at the same time as their kids, ... and when parents are on vacation, they spend less time on the Internet, and more with their kids (in theory), and when you are on vacation , you "consume" the Internet in a different way. This is why for, most web sites , school vacations = less traffic , but for other sites this is the opposite. The same can be observed about week-days, and week-ends. Depending of your niche, you can observe significant variations.
4:01 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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there are variations caused by certain events and they effect (or dont) different niches/sites in different ways but my point is that some people always seem to point to such events as the cause of traffic trying to ignore the fact that it is google that is the cause in many (most) cases. It goes the other way of course were by some people blame google for every little thing also blindly ignoring all other outside factors. The reality is of course it is a mixture of both , but I think the evidence is increasingly showing that googles effect is growing month on month and in a detrimental way against most sites.
5:17 pm on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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that some people always seem to point to such events as the cause of traffic

Yes, same for Adsense :) there is always a an "external" reason for traffic/earning loss. Beginning of Year/Month/Quarter/Week, End of Year/Month/Quarter/Week, holidays/vacations, school, weather, ... :)
10:14 am on Aug 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Dr. Axe and other big health websites are now at their lowest point in years...

[semrush.com...]

When they probably thought it couldn't get any worse... :o
1:38 pm on Aug 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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How does having kids in school improve traffic?

Right before school starts many parents are squeezing in last minute family vacations, rushing around/spending money to get school supplies and clothing for their children, etc. Unless you sell school supplies or clothing for kids, it's entirely normal to see less traffic and conversions this time of year in the USA market.

@EG

Yes, a name like AAAA Friendly Plumbers is a pretty good sign that a business has been around a while. :-)

I wonder how many people actually would trust a company like AAAA Friendly Plumbers to enter their home to do a repair? I sure wouldn't!
2:42 pm on Aug 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Dr. Axe and other big health websites are now at their lowest point in years...


I dont think school has much to do with it .

I did fine in the past even during the so-called slower months. Mercola, Examine and many other sites who wrote an article about the loss in rankings continue on a downward trend.

Many of the domains mentioned in the selfhacked article are ranking above them are competing in my niche as well and the domains mentioned continue to grow in traffic. Those domains are expired domains but there is no way they have better link profiles, the content is just rewritten fluff. Thing is, Google no longer likes Mercola, Examine or Dr.Axe because of their views.

Yesterday I had to help my 80 year old mom create a bookmark file. Before she just searched in Google and could pretty much find what she needed for travel health etc. For the last several months she has been calling me asking "son I cant find this website" Shes a big Dr. Axe, Mercola, and David Wolfe fan which Google clearly does not like anymore so they no longer show up in search. Solution number one was switching her search engine to DDG and number two adding a neat bookmark list so she has easy access to her favorite stuff.

Google search is no longer user friendly.
3:13 pm on Aug 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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whilst things like school holidays, national holidays etc will certainly effect some websites in some niches it seems that these things are too often put forward to explain drops that the majority of the time are simply down to google.There are simply too many types of sites, niches located with a large variety of audiences & demographics both in this forum and the internet in general that means these kind of things can hardly ever be used to explain why a variety of people experience drops. The single common denominator is always google.
9:03 pm on Aug 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I think Google will continue to roll out answer boxes and find other ways to keep visitors on Google. I searched for 'unicorn lifespan' yesterday, and the answer was not only provided, but additional information to the right. There was absolutely no need to leave Google for extra information. This will grow and grow.

The only way forward (for me, at least) is to find other ways to bring traffic to the site. I have spent the past four years trying to jump through hoops to keep Google happy, and in that time I could have built up a significant following via other methods. I wish I hadn't spent so much time with Google.

This is not one of those 'oh, I've given up' responses, well technically I have, but it's not because of self pity, rather it's trying to survive in other ways.
10:38 pm on Aug 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The reality is of course it is a mixture of both , but I think the evidence is increasingly showing that googles effect is growing month on month and in a detrimental way against most sites

Our editorial travel-planning site has a consistent pattern of traffic increasing from January until summer, with a slow decline in the fall until we reach a low point in December.This has been true since the 1990s, when we were at another domain and Google's founders were still at grad school.

Occasionally a Google update shifts the curve up or down (this year, we've had a slight boost since the beginning of August), but the overall pattern is quite predictable.
1:23 am on Aug 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The only way forward (for me, at least) is to find other ways to bring traffic to the site.

For me (the publisher of an information site), more pageviews = more revenue. So, for me, increasing traffic within the site can be just as valuable as increasing traffic to the site. Google is an important source of traffic, but so are our own internal links.

As far as Google traffic goes, being ranked is just one piece of the puzzle. I often wonder why more Web publishers don't work harder on creating page titles that people will want to click. In effect, a Google search listing is a free ad, so why not write a headline (a.k.a. page title) that will hook potential readers?
6:30 am on Aug 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Woke up in the morning and seeing changes over both of my websites. Thanks G, they are positive. As I see — another update is rolling out. What about your websites, guys? Are you noticing the update?
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